Timor Adventures Women’s Tour of East Timor July 2011

The highlights

Meeting the staff of Alola and handing over the keys to the “Aurora Timor” A motorbike
donated by the crew of the Icebreaker “Aurora Australis” to assist the maternal
and child health team in Baucau in their work.

Spending time with the women of CTKSD (C0-operative, tias, culture, sustainable development) in Los Palos, seeing how traditional weaving is done and making new friends.

Being treated to a traditional Timorese feast by the Alola team in Baucau and learning
about their work with women and children. Papaya flowers – a new taste sensation
for Marita, who is trying to find out where she can buy some in country
Victoria.

Handing over some toys and books to the parents, children and babies who were waiting
patiently for us at the newborn family centre at the hospital in Baucau.

Being serenaded and treated to an impromptu concert by our hosts at Tutula beach after performing synchronised swimming Ester Williams style at Jaco Island.

Meeting Nelson and his family in Ossu and being treated once again to a traditional feast
and learning about the work of the Friendship House and the support it receives
from the Willoughby Shire Council in NSW.

Luxuriating in the cool, clear waters of the river at Loi Huna followed by G&T’s on the
balcony while finding out about the sustainable development work Barry and his
team are carrying out at the Timor Village Lodge. And yes, another traditional
feast graciously prepared at very short notice by Mana Elsa Paulina in her home
in the village, (with a little help from her sister and neighbours). Elsa also
conducts cooking classes.

Crossing the South coast without dropping the bike once, including a river crossing where
Wayne the intrepid camera man got just a little too close to mana Vanna and her
mighty megapro!

Discovering that in Same even the darkest guest house has warm hospitality and great food
abounds. I am glad we stayed at this guest house. But beware the beds are not
build for frisky nuptials of the nearly 60 year olds!

The hills on the way to Maubisse were alive with siren songs from the sound of music; high
on the hill was a 60 year old gitter! Oh my god a view to die for.

Having a stunt double to ride the really tricky bits, my lumbar spine and kidneys say
thank you Dave, you are more than just a pretty sound man I don’t care what
Marita says!

Curried egg rolls and Timorese coffee in a dry river bed – just yummy!

Mastering the roller coaster from Maliana to Bobonaro, suddenly on top of the world,
looking down on creation – this really is God’s own country.

Finally making it to Atsabe and being greeted by the kids and the warm hospitality of
mana Natalia and the women’s group. Finding out I can no longer use a Knitting Nancy
but it doesn’t matter because mana Leanora is accomplished in the art of
crochet but is too polite to say so! Some of the most beautiful work I have
seen. Can’t wait to come back and stay in the guest house when it’s finished.

Mana Vanna stepping off the ‘curb’ into the soup at Leta Faho – she was a tad exhausted
and punch drunk after 5 hours of bone shattering riding.

Shopping at the market in Gleno – all the ginger lollies you can eat for under a dollar.

Winding up and down the fun curvy bits to Dare and some time to reflect at the memorial
devoted to the Sparrow force and their Timorese helpers.

Dili traffic, crazy with a logic of its own, a cacophony of sounds, smells and
movement.

The exhilaration of realising I had just ridden 1000km and could now ride any road –
just so proud of myself.

Good company, lots of laughter, challenges, new friends and jaw dropping natural
beauty.

Thankyou East Timor, when can we do it all again?


Comments

  1. Marita says:

    OK, I,ll go first!!
    I was fortunate to be part of the August 2011 Timor Adventures Motorbike/4 Wheel Drive tour, and life will ever be the same again! And I mean that in the best possible way – we got to see and meet the real Timor – her beautiful people and country, on a tour fully supported enough to be safe, and raw enough to feel the heartbeat of this amazing place.
    Timor has the ability to break your heart, and put it back together – at times we cried as together we learnt about the history, struggles and victories of this tiny country so close to Australia, yet still very unknown to many. And we also had many laughs – Expect the unexpected should you go !! We left new friends behind promising to return – and returned with new friends we toured with. Dave and Shirley of Timor Adventures share their love of this unique country through their every effort to make this tour experience unforgettable in the best sense of the word!!